Back in 1999, Sue Bhatia launched an internal supplier diversity program and since then has spent more than $100 million with diversity-owned firms, representing 20% to 30% of total purchases. This example aside, Bhatia, founder and chairwoman of staffing provider Rose International, has had long experience in supporting DE&I both within her own organization and in the ecosystem.
Rose International itself is certified minority- and woman-owned, and 40% of its workforce identifies as a minority.
In 2015, Bhatia launched Deployment to Employment, or D2E, a veteran hiring initiative that has helped nearly 2,000 military veterans, reservists and military spouses find employment.
Most recently, Rose International launched a $2 million racial equity initiative called Rose Impacting Social Equality, or RISE. This program’s goal is to advance racial equity across the US by helping communities of color overcome societal barriers. “Through education, career development and workforce support, RISE aims to support, guide and provide resources to students, job seekers, entrepreneurs and small businesses,” according to Bhatia. The program aims to help communities of color overcome societal barriers. “As a minority-owned business, we’ve always strived to be inclusive. Through RISE, we plan to make a difference from our standing in the minority community and bring more opportunities to communities of color,” Bhatia said in a statement when the program was introduced in February 2021.
Bhatia challenges other companies to join the cause. “Progressive organizations are committed to diversity and inclusion,” Bhatia says. “Forward-thinking leaders assess workforce gaps to create strategically diverse hiring practices. For business leaders, prioritizing diversity in hiring is vital for an even recovery, and that includes committing to hiring more women and minorities.”
Through her blog and social media, Bhatia provides career advice and leadership insight to her more than 80,000 combined subscribers and followers, focusing on topics such as diversity and inclusion and job market trends.
2021 DE&I Influencers List